Farmers struggle in Sirsa over non-payment of crop insurance claims

Report of the correspondent of Mazdoor Ekta Committee

Sirsa-InsuranceOn the afternoon of 16th August 2023, the farmers in Sirsa district of Haryana staged an indefinite dharna at Bhavdin Toll, demanding the payment of their insurance claims for crop failure during the Kharif season of 2022.

Langar, drinking water and other arrangements were also made on behalf of the farmers, at the protest site. The president and other members of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Chadhuni) and the Sarpanch Association were present during the dharna.

National Highway 9 was blocked during the dharna. Thousands of farmers reached the dharna site, along with their tractors. Agitating farmers expressed their anger, over the non-payment of crop insurance claims.

Sirsa farmers have been protesting in Chopta area, for the last 100 days, demanding the payment of their crop insurance claims. The farmers had earlier staged a protest at the Nathusari Chopta Tehsil office for the same demand. Farmers have been so incensed over this issue, that for 16 days, four farmers climbed atop the water tank in Narayankheda village to demonstrate their anger. Neither the government is ready to listen to their demands nor the insurance company. The compensation amount of Rs 641 crore is pending. It is to be paid to 1.32 lakh farmers of this district.

During this struggle, the company has released Rs 18,29,37,554 to 4011 farmers, but the company has also put objections on their insurance claims. This matter is now pending with the Technical Committee of the Government of India.

The farmers have gone on hunger strike during the dharna to draw the attention of the government and the insurance company, towards their demands. With the condition of the striking farmers deteriorating, they had to be moved to the hospital for treatment. Finally, on 13th August, the farmers warned the government that they would block the Bhavdin toll plaza if their demands were not met by 15th August. Meanwhile, on 14th August, the government did release a small amount in the accounts of some of the farmers. The farmers are not satisfied with the release of this paltry sum.

On the night of 18th August, a meeting was organized between the government and the farmers. During the meeting, the government has promised the farmers that it will clear the crop insurance claims within 30 days. With this assurance by the government, the farmers ended their indefinite dharna at Bhavdin.

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